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MTB News & Racing Round-up, December 18, 2009

Date published:
December 18, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • US mountain biker Mock suspended for marijuana use

    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 14:01 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Suspension lifted after completing educational programme

    Mountain biker David Mock has been suspended by the US Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for marijuana. His punishment was reduced after he successfully completed an agency anti-doping education program.

    Mock, 32, tested positive on August 15 for Carboxy THC, a metabolite of THC, which is formed in the body after Cannabis is consumed.  His positive test came after racing a four cross event at the Yankee Clipper event in Windham, New York. He accepted a three-month period of ineligibility, which began on December 11. However, his sentence was reduced to time served after he completed the USADA's program on December 16.

    His results from August 15 through December 16 have been disqualified.

  • Montoya signed by GT-Brondello Pro Team

    Paolo Montoya is racing for the GT-Bronello Pro Team in 2010.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 15:49 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Former road pro Osella confirms he'll stay with the squad

    The GT-Bronello Pro team signed its first two mountain bikers for 2010: Paolo Montoya and Marco Osella.

    Costa Rican Montoya is the team's first new arrival for next season. 2010 will mark his fourth season racing in Italy; he's previously raced with the Team Info-Lee Cougan and will make the move from his most recent team, Giant Italia.

    Montoya will focus on cross country and marathon races. In 2009, he finished fifth in the Internazionali d'Italia series in Nalles, made the podium at the Costa degli Etruschi Marathon and finished fifth in the Conca d'Oro Marathon. The later two races were part of the Marathon Tour series. At the end of July, Montoya's season came to an unexpected end after he was involved in a bad accident.

    Montoya will return to Italy in February and race World Cups, the Internazionali d'Italia series and some of the Marathon Tour and Piemonte Mountain Bike series.

    "I'd like to thank Marco Tuninetti, Gianni and Massimo Alloi and my trainer Andrea Bianco for this incredible experience. I liked GT Brondello Pro Team's proposal and decided to sign for 2010. I also want thank the Giant Italia Team for the great experience in their international structure. I competed besides such extraordinary and talented athletes," Montoya said.

    "I chose the GT-Brondello Pro Team so I can chase after what is the most important goal in a cyclist's career: the Olympic Games. In 2007, I worked toward qualification for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with the Costa Rica National Team. In 2010, I will work hard to do the same for the 2012 Olympic Games in London."

    Osella is continuing with the team after some mountain bike racing in 2009 following a career as a road cycling pro. Thus far, while racing off road, he's made the podium at the Promenado Bike and La Via del Sale Marathon. As a road pro, Osella raced events such as the Brixia Tour, the Giro Trentino, the Italian Championships and the Tour of the Apennines

    ...
  • Popular Scottish mountain bike destination celebrates anniversary

    Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) raced to sixth place at the Fort William World Cup downhill in June of 2009.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 16:05 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Opening of cross country trail with gondola uplift boosted visitors in 2009

    The Nevis Range, near Fort William, Scotland, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Saturday when it reopens for the winter season of skiing. Originally a ski resort, it has grown and expanded to serve mountain bikers, including hosting the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in 2007 and many UCI World Cups. Since its inception in 1989, Nevis Range has welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors through its doors.

    In early 2000, as part of the diversification of the business into an all-year round resort, the business created a downhill mountain bike track with gondola uplift that has hosted seven mountain bike World Cups and in 2007 hosted the worlds. The downhill track is widely celebrated as a classic, one of the toughest physical and technical tracks, on the UCI World Cup circuit and has firmly put Nevis Range and Fort William on the world map.

    The mountain gondola, the only one of its kind in Britain, was originally constructed on the slopes of Aonach Mor as a way to transport skiers to the pistes. However, from day one, the gondola became a highly acclaimed visitor attraction in its own right, attracting around 200,000 visitors annually.

    Earlier this year, Nevis Red, a new red graded cross country trail with gondola uplift, was opened and the number of leisure mountain bike riders more than doubled during the summer months.

    "The past twenty years has been both exciting and challenging. We can't pretend that the ski industry has been an easy ride, but after twenty years, we're still in business," Marian Austin of Nevis Range.

    "As part of the diversification of the business into an all year round resort, we opened our first downhill mountain bike track in 2000. The new Nevis Red trail, opened this summer, is not only an integral part of our plan to grow the business, it has also opened up the hill to competent cross country mountain bikers. It's a good fit with the already popular Witch's Trails cross...

  • NICA, Colorado school leagues receive support from Easton Foundation

    Girls divisions line up during the inaugural season of the Southern California League.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 16:17 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Easton Foundation pleased after success with SoCal League involvement

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) will be receiving matching grants from the Easton Foundations for itself and for its newest chapter, the Colorado High School Cycling League.

    "We are hugely grateful for the generosity of Jim Easton and his foundation. This is a major milestone for NICA and the Colorado High School Cycling League," Matt Fritzinger, founder of NICA and the NorCal High School Cycling League. "NICA is having great success finding other sponsors soon to be announced and fulfillment of the Colorado grant is now contingent on finding other supporters."

    The successful first year of the Southern California High School Cycling League, for which the Easton Foundations also provided founding funding, helped the decision to fund the Colorado League.

    "The generous support of the Easton Foundations is very timely for the Colorado High School Cycling League," said Kate Rau, executive director of the Colorado League. "I am absolutely thrilled by their commitment to support mountain biking, for it is an excellent opportunity for youth to establish healthy habits and a deeper connection to the outdoors within a positive peer culture."

    Jim Easton, president of the Easton Foundations, said, "Having helped create an outstanding mountain bike race series in Southern California, and having received such enthusiastic feedback from the students and parents, it is a pleasure for the Easton Foundations to be a founding sponsor of the Colorado High School Cycling League and to also be a founding national sponsor in the very promising new NICA."

    The ESDF II (one of the Easton Foundations) was established in 2006 and focuses its philanthropic activities on the four sports that Easton Sports has been built upon: archery, softball and baseball, hockey, and cycling.

    The NICA model has developed methods and curriculum for introducing young riders to the world of mountain bike racing, as well as recruiting and...

  • Maremma Cup doubles for 2010

    Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannodale Factory Racing) on his way to a win at the Maremma Cup in 2009.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 16:41 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Second-year event to draw Schurter, Absalon, Sauser among elite field

    The Maremma Cup will return for a second year in Tuscany this spring. Last year, with the support of three-time World Champion Thomas Frischknecht, two Maremma Cup events drew international mountain bike racers to the Maremma Natural Park. For 2010, the racing will happen over two weekends in February and March.

    The organizing committee, presided by Ernst Hutmacher, together with the Swiss champion Frischknecht and supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Grosseto, Provincia di Grosseto and Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation, decided to launch a multi-year project, so the second edition of the cross country event is scheduled for February 27-28 and March 6-7. The races have moved up to UCI C1 and C2 status, and organizers are dreaming even bigger for 2011.

    Beside the two cross country competitions, which will once again take place in the town of Massa Marittima - on the same circuit that hosted the races in 2009 - four more promotional races are to be held on the streets of other historical towns.

    In 2009, two promotional kermesses were won by Swiss superstar Ralph Näf. This year, two kermesses will feature - one on Tuesday, March 2 in Grosseto and one on Thursday, March 4 in Porto Santo Stefano.

    Former World Champions Christoph Sauser and Julien Absalon are committed to next year's event as are current World Champion Nino Schurter, Florian Vogel, Miguel Martinez and the Italians Martino Fruet, Eva Lechner and Marco Aurelio Fontana.

    Fontana and Lechner triumphed in 2009 on a rainy day that made for spectacular conditions.

    For more information, visit www.maremmacup.com.

  • Gould, Nash, Pendrel anchor 2010 Luna team

    Catherine Pendrel (Luna Women's MTB) takes third place
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 17:24 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Dombroski, Dunlap round out mountain bike squad

    Mountain bike stars Georgia Gould, Katerina Nash, Catherine Pendrel and Alison Dunlap will be returning to the Luna Pro women's team for 2010. New arrival Amy Dombroski completes the mountain bike roster for the next season.

    Pendrel, Nash and Gould will continue to anchor the team at international mountain bike events and major domestic events. Canadian cross country National Champion Pendrel will concentrate on mountain bike racing, but US short track National Champion Gould, Nash and former World Champion Dunlap will continue to split their focus between mountain biking and 'cross racing. Pendrel and Gould ended the 2009 season ranked third and 15th, respectively, in the cross country World Cup.

    Dombroski, a former road pro for Webcor, will race all three disciplines, but 2010 will be her first year focusing on a full mountain bike season. Following a successful domestic 'cross season, the young American, who won the Under 23 cross country national mountain bike championships, was recently selected to the US World Championship Cyclo-cross team.

    The Luna Pro Team continues to sponsor X-Terra racers and triathletes. Among those known to mountain bikers are Danelle Kabush, the sister of Canadian pro racer Geoff Kabush, and former mountain bike racer Shonny Vanlandingham. Both focus on racing X-Terras which are off-road triathlons including mountain biking, swimming and running.

    Former Luna Pro rider Chloe Forsman is not listed as part of the 2010 roster.

    2010 Luna Pro Team
    Georgia Gould (Mountain Bike/Cyclocross)
    Katerina Nash (Mountain Bike/Cyclocross)
    Catharine Pendrel (Mountain Bike)
    Amy Dombroski (Mountain Bike/Cyclocross/Road)
    Alison Dunlap (Mountain Bike/Cyclocross)
    Cathy Chesky (Ironman Age-Grouper)
    Terra Castro (Ironman/X-Terra)
    Danelle Kabush (X-Terra)
    Tyler Stewart (Ironman)
    Shonny Vanlandingham (X-Terra)

    For more information about the...

  • US Cup announces new Triple Crown All Mountain Series

    Max Plaxton, Sid Taberlay and Todd Wells in an uphill breakaway
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 19:43 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    California, Colorado, Virgina hosting rounds of elite US series

    The inaugural Triple Crown All Mountain Series will include three American mountain bike races for 2010, as announced by organizers on Friday. The series will kick off at Bonelli Park in California, on March 13-14, then move to Colorado to include the Mountain States Cup series at the Chalk Creek Stampede on May 15-16. It will wrap up with a final at Massanutten resort in Virginia on June 19-20. The series visits the East and West and the Rockies in between.

    "We are excited to release our Triple Crown dates and venues to the public," said the US Cup Chairman Ty Kady. "We wanted to take into consideration all major UCI events and dates before we released the Triple Crown schedule. After reviewing the US ProXCT calendar released on USA Cycling's website two weeks ago, we felt we have made the public wait long enough for this announcement."

    "The US Cup has also, as a show of support for the pro riders who are chasing Olympic berth, tentatively agreed to do our part by (also) hosting a UCI (category) 1 inscripted ProXCT event at Fontana (in California) on March 27-28, and feel good that we have established this series with minimal impact and overlap of existing events." said Tedro.

    The news of the new series comes less than two weeks after the US Cup and USA Cycling parted ways and ended efforts to co-organizing the US ProXCT national series. The US ProXCT will go on, separate from the Triple Crown series, and will be run by USA Cycling and offer UCI points.

    "The whole concept of the Triple Crown event is in conjunction with our partner promoters, incorporates three top tier venues and offers pro riders a substantial amount of prize money over US$35,000 in cash payouts... while still making it logistically possible to incorporate it with their existing race schedule." Payouts will go 10-deep in the pro category.

    "We couldn't be more excited to work with the great folks at the Mountain States Cup and Massanutten...